Perhaps every breakfast table in America could not ever go without a maple syrup. From pancakes to waffles, it is likely that they are devoured with satisfaction because of that sweetened concoction that can make even a simple coffee experience delightful; and pleasurable in a simple syrupy way. Pioneering this wonder we now call as maple syrup were the Algonquin Indians who referred to it as sinzibukwud, which means drawn from wood. Along with the other Native American ethnic groups of the northeastern United States and southeast Canada, they primarily gave the French and British settlers an idea about how to gather the sap of Acer saccharum, otherwise known as the sugar maple, and trim it down to evolve into a sweet, substantial liquid identified in the present day as maple syrup.
How is maple syrup made?
Winter is not a very conducive season for the maple to grow, and it keeps its juice in its roots. Come spring, a time that the trees start to generate leaves and flowers, a chemical change referred by the farmers as buddy will have transpired that gives the sap an unlikable flavor. While cold nights sends the sap back to its roots, Only in early spring, more often than not February through April, that the trees can be tapped because warm days stimulate the sap to go up back to its branches to serve as nourishment to the growing leaves. To tap a maple tree a hole is bored at a somewhat rising angle to avert sap from gathering into the opening, freezing, and fracturing the stem. This sap is collected using the traditional way of using a canvass or a container dangled and positioned strategically to catch the dripping sap, after which the collection is directed to the sugar house where it is processed. Contemporary systems do away with the collection process on the whole and propel sap without delay from the trees to the sugar house. To get this done, a plastic hose is fastened to each spile; these tubes run jointly to a larger conduit, and the conduits, in turn, are channeled from the different branches of the orchard unswervingly to the sugar house. A pump preserves a stable, slight vacuum and maintains the sap continuously moving through the conduits. Onside the sugar house the sap collection is then processed. The procedure involves heating the maple tree juice, as it is transferred from one heat pan to another, resulting to evaporation of water content of the sap thereby condensing it. Maple sap develops into maple syrup when it has arrived at sixty six percent sugar concentration.
The heated mixture will then be passed through a filter to sift any sugar powder that was not dissolved into the process. Then straight to a bottle container after which, will be sealed. Since maple syrup has no preservatives its very hot temperature ensures that these containers are sterile thereby making your sweet treat safe for consumption. These products are the ones you buy at supermarkets which make you every day meals a hearty one to share and begin with.
The History of Maple Syrup
It’s not known exactly who was the one first who made maple syrup and how long people have been making it, but accounts from the first European settlers in North America suggest that Native American tribes had been using this as their sweetener.
Native American legend and folklore also mention maple syrup as one of the staple food of Native American tribes. They call it “sinzibuckwud” which literally means “drawn from wood.” They first recognized the sap of the maple tree as a source of nutrition and energy and would use their tomahawks to make a V-shaped cut in the maple trees. They would then insert reeds or a piece of a tree bark to make a make-shift tube for the sap to flow to their wooden buckets. They would then either throw hot stones in the bucket or leave it overnight and throw the layer of ice that had formed on top of the sap. As the years go by, the Native American tribes used clay pots to boil the sap over fire to produce that thick, sweet syrup.
When Europeans came to the continent, they induced wooden buckets and iron and copper kettles, and the Natives used them in their process. The Natives also showed their new European friends how to “harvest” the sap from the maple trees. This became a part of the colonizers’ lives since the 17th century. Maple syrup was also their major source of high quality sugar and sweetener because the other types of sugar, like white sugar from sugarcanes, are hard to find and very expensive during the days.
How to Enjoy Maple Syrup: Uses for Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is one of the favorite sweetener of people not only in Quebec and Vermont, the two known producers of this sweet syrup, but all everyone all over the world because it has a higher concentration of minerals and contains fewer calories. It satisfies your sweet tooth without making you guilty for putting on extra calories.
Because of its distinct sweet and earthy taste, it is the preferred toppings and sweetener for pancakes, French toast, and waffles, particularly those who live in North America and Canada. It is also used in biscuits, donuts, ice cream, cereal, fritters, and grapefruit. Other people also use the syrup to add flavor to baked beans, sweet potatoes, applesauce, pies, cakes, fudge, breads, candies, and winter squash. It is also used as sweetener for coffee, tea, and milkshakes. It is a very good and healthy alternative to white sugar.
In some Canadian cities, particularly Quebec, New England, and Ontario, maple syrup tradition is being practiced by the people. During early spring, people will visit the sugar houses and would be served with maple-based products like maple taffee, tire sur la neige, and sugar on snow. Sugar on snow is a thickened hot maple syrup poured on fresh snow and is eaten off sticks. This popular maple candy is most often served with sour dill pickles, donuts, and coffee.
The syrup is also an excellent source of manganese and zinc, two of the minerals that are important in energy production and in producing antioxidants for your body’s defense.